The schematic in a pattern is an incredibly valuable resource. It has tons of information in it. Look at the numbers, and not just the diagram.
I am casting on today, and I already see a big issue — there are only 2 circumferences for sleeve cuffs for a sweater that comes in 10 sizes. And since I am not a huge fan of dangly cuffs, I will be making an adjustment here, and adjust to make sure that by the time I get the sleeves to the length I want, I have the right circumference on the arm. (This means doing some calculations on the frequency of increases within the available length of the sleeve, so you will have to rely on the row gauge you’re getting on your swatch as well…as you progress further into the sleeve, the row gauge you are getting on the sleeve will give a better sense.)
With the knowledge that ribbing will “suck in” the fabric a certain amount, I have cast on what I think are the right number of stitches and have started knitting…..
One thing to keep in mind? The beautiful seeded rib must be knit in the multiple of stitches it calls for.
And, I don’t know where I have picked this up, but I always cast on one more stitch than called for when knitting in the round and slip that last stitch in the round into the first stitch in the next round.
Next decision: is the ribbing called for in the pattern long enough? I am a sleeve pusher-upper. And, I want enough length in the sleeves to be able to pull the sleeves over my hands without it looking sloppy. My solution? A longer rib. I am knitting my rib a bit longer than called for (shortening the amount of turf left to squeeze in all my sleeve increases!) And make a note, if you’ve changed the length of the rib on the sleeve. I like to mirror this, most of the time, at the hem of the body!
I think it’s a good start. Now onto the main part of the sleeve….
And here’s Blunckie’s progress. The yarn she is using is just PERFECTION. I think it’s perfect for this sweater. Great stitch definition, and it looks so soft even from here!! And look how far she has gotten already!!!
A few advantages, in my mind, for starting on the sleeves.
1. It’s your “in the round gauge swatch”, and it’s also a check to see if you’re going to like the garment. You can try on as you go! If you don’t like a sleeve, you are likely not going to like the sweater.
2. You’ll get a sense for the pattern, and how the yarn knits up in a bigger piece of fabric….in essence, it’s like you’re progressing onto a bigger swatch!
Usually, and if I am on gauge for the project, I will knit the sleeves two at a time on magic loop. This way, I don’t have to “remember” (i.e., take copious notes because I don’t ever really remember anymore!) my increases for “later” (or when I get to the second sleeve — which, with my track record, could be years after the first sleeve!).
However, for this, I’m going to do one sleeve at a time. I’m not super confident in my modifications.
The upside? After knitting the sleeve and the body up to the yoke, I should be 100% confident of how I’m going to modify the rest of the sweater (where all the action takes place).
If you are participating in the KAL and do not mind me featuring your progress on the blog, please contact me at Finnsmydog on Ravelry!